A Tale Of Tall Teeth: What To Do When Your New Dental Veneers Are Too Long
It might be helpful to think of your dental veneers as clothing custom-made for you. If you buy clothing from a store and realize that it doesn't fit properly, you take it back and exchange it. If a piece of clothing is made-to-measure and those measurements aren't entirely accurate, you have it altered. Although dental veneers are designed to hug the precise contours of the underlying tooth structure, what's the best way to proceed if your new veneers look a bit too long, making your teeth look noticeably tall?
Veneers are a cosmetic dental treatment, intended to improve the appearance of the teeth in question. They're attached to anterior teeth, which are those that are visible when you smile—namely your upper and/or lower incisor and canine teeth. Veneers that are too long when attached to your upper dental arch can create the impression of an overjet (commonly referred to as buck teeth).
When veneers that are too long are on the lower dental arch, it can result in an underjet. When this happens, the teeth in question overlap the teeth in the opposing dental arch. You might agree that this defeats the purpose of your veneers, since the appearance of your smile has not been improved.
Your overlapping veneers may be perfectly functional, but the very fact that they overlap the opposing teeth can create a few potential problems. The overlap can create disproportionate pressure on the veneers, and if they're too long, they might in fact be leveraged against the opposing teeth—slowly but surely pulling your veneers away from the surfaces of your teeth. You may even find that your speech patterns are altered when upper veneers are too long, particularly for the so-called dental consonants, which are vocalizations made when your tongue rests against the back of your upper incisors.
Resizing Your Veneers
You must contact the dentist who fitted your veneers and explain your concerns. Fortunately, it's relatively easy to modify veneers that are too long. They can sometimes be adjusted while still attached to your teeth. However, it may be more practical to remove them, trim them, and then re-bond them to your teeth. When it's thought that any adjustments to the length of your veneers will affect their overall strength, the strength of their bond with the underlying tooth, or the translucence of their surface (which is how they mimic natural dental enamel), then your veneers will need to be remade.
Veneers that are too long can (and should) be adjusted. After all, it's your smile, and you must be satisfied with the results. For more information on dental veneers, contact a professional near you.